‘Character is an important factor’ – Horndean boss Birmingham on home game with Wessex League strugglers
Horndean entertain lowly Portland United at Five Heads Park knowing a win will propel them up to second in the Wessex League Premier Division (3pm).
Michael Birmingham's side are in great form having won their last five league matches.
They will start favourites to extend their run against the second-bottom Dorset strugglers who have suffered some heavy defeats on the road this season.
They suffered successive eight-goal hammerings at Baffins, Fareham and Cowes prior to stopping the rot with a 1-1 draw at Tadley last weekend.
All Birmingham is interested in is three points.
'I will take a 1-0 win as long as we get the three points,' he said.
'We know Portland have had a tough time but they were unlucky to lose against Hamworthy recently (the Hammers scored a stoppage time winner).
'The new manager (Franklyn Clarke) seems to have them better organised.
'Weather-wise things aren't looking great and with pitches getting heavier it is all about attitude.
'It is about adapting the way you play.
'We still intend to play our football, but it has to be in the right areas.
'When pitches get heavy sometimes, when things don't go for you, then it is a case of digging in.
'Character becomes an important factor.'
Birmingham has strengthened his squad with some new signings.
Forward Michael Baker has dual-signed from Bognor Regis and right-sided defender Will Webb has joined from Petersfield Town.
Baker made a couple of first team appearances for the Rocks last season and has been playing for the club’s under-19s this term.
Webb made 26 starts for Petersfield in 2019/20, scoring nine goals.
'They will add to the good youngsters we already have at the club,' said Birmingham.
In addition, Tyler Giddings - dual signed from Moneyfields - made his debut in Tuesday’s impressive win at AFC Stoneham.
Deans also have players returning from injury with Robbie Taw playing 75 minutes in midweek.
Tommy Tierney is another on the brink of returning from injury.